Meet the CultureBrew.Art Team
VALERIE SING TURNER
Creative Director & Co-Executive Director
Valerie is the founding Artistic Producer of Visceral Visions, and an award-winning theatre artist who performs, writes, directs, dramaturges, and produces. The founder and creative visionary of CultureBrew.Art, Valerie is an acknowledged leader on issues of diversity and decolonization in the Canadian arts sector. Her first producing credit was the Dora-nominated premiere of The Yoko Ono Project, written by Jean Yoon; since making Vancouver her home, she has developed and/or produced the premieres of four productions, including Marie Clements’ Aboriginal blues-rock multimedia musical, The Road Forward. A recipient of the Enbridge playRites Award for Emerging Canadian Playwright, Gordon Armstrong Playwrights Rent Award, and John Moffat + Larry Lillo Prize, she has been artist-in-residence with National Arts Centre and Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, associate artist with Urban Ink Productions, and guest artist with Canada’s National Voice Intensive as well as Primary Colours/couleurs primaire’s 2018 Banff residency. She is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity, UBCP/ACTRA, Playwrights Guild of Canada, and Banff’s Cultural Leadership 2018-19 cohort, and was honoured with the 2019 UBCP/ACTRA International Women’s Day Award in recognition of her “outstanding contributions to the Union, the industry, and causes of social justice”.
Technical Director & Co-Executive Director
Anju is an active, multi-disciplinary artist who has worked in the non-profit and arts sector for over 15 years. Alongside her passion for the arts, Anju is excited about the ways in which she can apply technology in her work in arts and the non-profit sector. Anju's degree in Philosophy from Simon Fraser University trained her for critical and analytic thinking, as well as a love for problem solving. Following her studies, her training was nicely rounded out by her experience working in arts and non-profit organizations where she developed values that prioritize people, relationships, and more equitable practices. Anju brings to CultureBrew.Art a breadth of skills including experience from the tech sector, non-profit management, human resources training, and a strong history of operations experience. As an artist and musician, Anju’s contributions and interests cross several artistic disciplines, an important element of CultureBrew.Art, and she brings extensive experience creating, producing, and showing artistic work.
Community Development Director & Co-Executive Director
A longtime practicing artist herself, !Kona has reams of experience in community engagement, extensive event management, facilitation, and tech/social media skills, AND deep work in equity, representation, and inclusion. She has worked with a range of cultural and community service organizations and non-profits in her private practice, with seven years of provincial government social justice work, and almost 10 years of municipal cultural service -- in short, a perfect fit for CultureBrew.Art.
Communications & Marketing Strategist
Omari Newton is an award-winning professional actor, writer, director and producer. As a writer, his original Hip Hop theatre piece Sal Capone has received critical acclaim and multiple productions, including a recent presentation at Canada’s National Arts Centre. He has been commissioned by Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) in Montreal to write a companion piece to Sal Capone entitled Black & Blue Matters. The new piece is set to premiere at BTW in 2019. Omari and his wife, fellow professional playwright Amy Lee Lavoie, recently received a generous grant from the Canada Council to co-write a new play: Redbone Coonhound, and are now in development with Vancouver's Art Club Theatre under the Silver Commission program. Their latest collaboration is a bold and innovative satirical comedy that confronts instances of systemic racism in the past, present and future. Newton’s work in Speakeasy Theatre's production of Young Jean Lee's The Shipment earned him a 2017-2018 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, as well as a nomination for Best Direction.Notable film & TV credits include: Lucas Ingram on Showcase’s Continuum, Larry Summers on Blue Mountain State and lending his voice to the Black Panther in multiple animated projects (Marvel). Most recently, Omari has a recurring role as Nate on Corner Gas (the animated series) and a recurring role as Corvus of Netflix’s hit new animated series The Dragon Prince.
Jakob Knudsen is an instrument builder and musician of Stō:ló and Red River Métis ancestry from his mother, and Danish ancestry from his father. The synthesizers he builds explore organismic behaviour in analog technology - in particular self playing, evolving drum machines; gestural playing methods; and unconventional sources of control or sound generation from nature such as PH level, light, and electromagnetic radiation. He is currently completing a bachelors degree at Simon Fraser University with a double minor in Indigenous Studies and Legal Studies. He is in pursuit of a career in decarceration and advocating for those navigating the colonial legal system.